‘A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.’ (National Curriculum 2014 – Appendix A)
At Chiseldon Primary and Nursery School, we aim to give the children in our care as wide a range of opportunities and experiences as possible. We acknowledge the influence that Europe has on our lives and as the UK is becoming an increasingly multicultural society, we have a duty to provide our children with an understanding of other cultures and languages. Learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture and those of others. Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s ideas in this critical area as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language. At Chiseldon Primary and Nursery School, we believe that many children really enjoy learning to speak another language. Secondly, we also believe that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired. We also believe that it is a good idea to introduce a new language to children when they are at primary school, as they tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development. It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.
At Chiseldon Primary and Nursery School we teach German as our MFL. Children experience the German language from Nursery all the way to Year 6 where the children have the opportunity to go to Germany and visit our partner school. Children from the school in Germany also come over to England and visit us at school. We use the Goethe Institutes lessons in German with Felix and Franzi. The children are introduced to Modern Foreign Languages through the use of classroom routines (register), songs, games and ICT.
Teachers use a variety of the following techniques to encourage children to have an active engagement with Languages:
• Games – in order to develop vocabulary through repetition, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
• Role-play – these should relate to the situations the children may find themselves in the future.
• Action songs and rhymes – to develop phonetic skills, memory skills and to further vocabulary.
• Puppets and toys – to be used to develop communication skills.
• Mime - to associate vocabulary with kinesthetic learning.
• Reading and writing quality materials
• ICT programs and websites; the use of ICT to develop communication skills
• We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages.
• We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
• Children will be provided with opportunities to communicate with each other in the target language.
• Children will be given the opportunity to look at other languages – particularly if children are bi-lingual.
• Children will learn how language skills can be applied to a range of languages.
• To make young children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another;
• Children will develop their language through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
• Children will enrich their language learning by developing an understanding of culture.